Dumping site suspects still behind bars

Two men linked to robbery and assault at the Bloemfontein waste dumping site remain behind bars after their bail application was turned down.

The suspects, Itireleng Mophethe (29) and Tsokotla Matlabe (23), had their bail application opposed during their reappearance in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 7 August.

Col. Thandi Mbambo, provincial police spokes­person, said the two men faced charges of robbery and assault involving alleged incidents with two seperate victims at the landfill site this year. She said the first incident allegedly took place in February and the second in July.

Mbambo said the case would be heard in the regional court, starting on 31 August, after it was transferred as part of further investigation.

She said Matlabe and Mophethe had been out on R500 bail at the time they were arrested for the second robbery at the dumping site.

She said the alleged dumping site robbers were later arrested after committing crimes in the two separate incidents.

“They allegedly pretended to be helping the male victim offload garbage and thereafter threatened him with his gas gun, assaulted and robbed him of a cellphone.

“They used the same modus operandi as in the first case to rob the victim of a cellphone,” said Mbambo.

She said security officers who were called to the scene arrested the two suspects and recovered the stolen items.

“During investigation it emerged that Mophethe was wanted for alleged housebreaking and theft incidents that happened in the Kagisanong area in 2014 and the Parkweg area in 2017,” said Mbambo.

She said investigation was still ongoing into another robbery case at the landfill site, in which two suspects, aged 16 and 21, were implicated.

“They face a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances after robbing a male victim of two cellphones and a wallet containing cash on 31 July.

“The victim went to dispose of garbage at the dumping site when he was robbed.

“Increased security visibility at the dumping site area and integrated multidisciplinary activities between the police, security and the community yields positive results in the arrest of suspects and recovery of items belonging to the victims,” said Mbambo.